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IFPE White Paper Outlines Efficiency Benefits of Digitalization & Electrification for Fluid Power

Aug. 2, 2022
Several market factors are leading to increased integration of electronics into hydraulic and pneumatic components to achieve various performance benefits.

In the lead up to the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE) 2023, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) is releasing trend reports and white papers highlighting key technologies and market trends impacting the fluid power industry. Many of these will be shown during IFPE, providing an opportunity to see first hand the latest advancements in fluid power and motion control.

The latest white paper to be released "How Digitalization & Electrification Improve Efficiency in Fluid Power" looks at how the growing use of digital technologies and alternative energy sources can benefit hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Fluid power companies which provided their insights into the effects of digitalization and electrification for the white paper include:

  • Bosch Rexroth
  • Casappa
  • ifm efector
  • Parker Hannifin
  • Poclain Hydraulics

Market Drivers for Digitalization and Electrification

According to the white paper, three of the key global trends causing an evolution of fluid power systems through the increased use of digitalization and electrification technologies include: 

  • increasing urbanization and global population
  • updating and replacing infrastructure
  • regulations driving use of more sustainable solutions.

Adam Kimmel of ASK Consulting Solutions, author of the white paper, states in its introduction that fluid power can aid these market trends by accelerating the transition to electrification. Integration of sensors and other electronics into hydraulic and pneumatic components provides opportunities to improve efficiency and maintenance. Doing so leads to improved efficiency of the machines in which the components are integrated, such as the construction equipment that will be utilized for infrastructure and other related projects. 

The mobile equipment market is an important one for the fluid power industry, particularly the hydraulics segment. Although many OEMs have started development or brought to market electric-powered construction and other heavy equipment, there is still a need for hydraulic components in many of these machines. As such, the fluid power industry needs to ensure it is developing the right products to meet the needs of electrified equipment. 

In its recent report on the mobile hydraulics market, Interact Analysis found there has not been as high a rise in demand for hydraulic alternatives as the researchers expected despite the growing transition toward electrification in heavy-duty mobile equipment. This is due in part to the higher costs associated with some of newer technologies being brought to market. However, the research firm expects the efficiency gains which can be achieved through use of hydraulics with more integrated electronics and other new technologies will become more desirable to OEMs in the coming years leading to increased sales of these solutions. 

READ MORE about the Interact Analysis mobile hydraulics report.

Overall, the fluid power market is expected to remain positive. Kimmel cites a Power & Motion article in the white paper which explains how the fluid power segment is forecast to grow 7% in 2022, due in part to growth in the heavy equipment industry—driven also by the aforementioned global trends impacting fluid power.

So by continuing to advance their products through implementation of digitalization and electrification, fluid power manufacturers can ensure their components remain relevant options for construction equipment and other machinery OEMs.

Download the full IFPE white paper from the event's website. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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